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Jamie's story: my UK Wide Cycle Ride challenge

Jamie smiling as he takes on his UK Wide Cycle Ride challenge

Jamie

Cycling in memory of his dad

I was worried that I was going to struggle with the cycling when I first started, but towards the end I felt really good and like I could keep it up even after my 250 miles.

In his story, Jamie shares how our UK Wide Cycle Ride challenge helped him introduce regular exercise into his life while also giving back to a cause close to his heart.

Diabetes UK and me

Remembering my dad

My dad was diagnosed with late onset type 1 diabetes when he was 34, so the age I am now. My family more generally have quite a lot of thyroid-related issues too, so diabetes is sort of all around me.

Dad sadly passed away after getting cancer about 11 years ago now, so I took on UK Wide Cycle Ride in his memory. I know he got a lot of help from Diabetes UK when he was trying to get to grips with his diabetes, so it seemed like a really good way to give back and support the charity that had helped him so much.

And more personally -  I was coming to the end of a substantial diet where I had lost about four and a half stone, so this challenge was a great way to get me into regular exercise. Completing it felt great, and I actually went a little bit further than planned as I had said that if I hit over £500 when fundraising, I would aim for 250 miles instead of 220!

Activity

My UK Wide Cycle Ride challenge

I did think it was going to be quite difficult to fit the challenge in, especially because of things opening up and being busy with work and friends, but because I had something to strive towards and aim for - it felt really manageable and easy to get into a routine. 

I joined the Facebook group and found it to be a really supportive space. I was hoping to find a cycling buddy but unfortunately no-one seemed to live near to me, however I know lots of others were able to pair up. I did have friends who joined me for parts of my rides though, and that was a really nice way to stay motivated. 
 
I’m quite lucky with where I live too, as there are lots of nice cycle routes and paths to follow. For my final ride, I travelled along a coastal path down to Brean Down, which is an old hill fort. The last bit of that route is an almost a vertical climb, with the same scary drop on the way down, and I’d avoided it every other time I’d done that ride as part of the challenge. But for the final ride, I thought ‘let’s do it’ and it was an incredible moment for me.

I was worried that I was going to struggle with the cycling when I first started, but towards the end I felt really good and like I could keep it up even after my 250 miles. Sadly, life got in the way and I haven’t got out on my bike as much as I wanted to - but I’m hoping to take part in the September event when things have quietened down a bit more as I really enjoyed it. 

I think my one tip for people thinking of taking part is to pick an achievable target to begin with, because you can always do more!

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